For the launch of Stefan Burgers latest book, the Rroom changes into a Bar, with five roman bouquets and selected Scarlatti-Sonata
The photographic work Stefan Burger made for his 2017 exhibition at the Kunsthalle Bern stems from his ongoing interest in the allure of botanical objects. An astonishing depth is evident in some images, a depth that is invariably also deceptive, as they at the same time seem to be almost magical surfaces: flat depths, which, while not directly resisting it, do elude verbalization. One can describe, for instance, how even the most meager tendril suddenly appears as a counterpart or how entrancing certain manifestations of light or radiance in the pictures are, one could also talk about the chromatic auras, the moods created by chemical processes. But the attempt at verbalizing formal manifestations, at translating the material into language has its limitations. For what can language add to the intensity of these photos? Their power is based on something that may unfold only beyond text and external content, and solely in the joy of contemplation. Still, the images do also divert from themselves. Their self-referentiality flips and intertwines with other realities. The pictures are anything but appealing, yet they carry the possibility of beauty in that they open themselves up to the uniqueness of something—of a plant, of the light. They seek to penetrate reality by drawing on the senses, only to return in the form of an artwork.
Edited by Kunsthalle Bern, Valérie Knoll, Geraldine Tedder